Several captives freed in Mali hotel siege

2015-08-08 08:12

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bamako - Captives held by gunmen during a standoff at a hotel in central Mali have been freed overnight and at least five foreigners evacuated from the site, Malian military sources have said.

The hotel was stormed by the armed men in an attack on Friday that left at least seven people dead, including a UN contractor.

"We cannot say that everything is finished, but a number of hostages" were freed by Malian forces deployed around the Hotel Byblos in Sevare, a source said early on Saturday, according to the AFP news agency.

"Work continues, it is not over," the source said, without elaborating.

Another source said Malian Special Forces had rescued the hostages, including five foreigners "who were evacuated to Bamako". The source was unable to specify their nationalities.

The governments of Russia and Ukraine confirmed earlier they each had a national among the hostages.

Some members of the UN peacekeeping mission (Minusma) were also staying in the hotel, the government said.

The attackers had stormed the hotel, frequented by foreign visitors and troops, in Sevare about 620km northeast of Bamako, the capital, at around 07:00 on Friday, according to the government.

Malian forces cordoned off the area but their efforts against the gunmen were made "sensitive" by the presence of hostages, explained a military source.

It was not clear how many people were being held in the hotel by the attackers.

The government statement on Friday evening gave a provisional toll of "five dead, two injured" on the Malian army side and "two killed" on the other side. Seven suspects had been detained, it added.

Minusma said "a member of Minusma's associate international staff" was killed in the "terrorist attack," without giving the victim's nationality. It was not clear if that death was included in the government toll.

The UN mission said the initial target of the attack was a Malian military site.

Read more on:    un  |  mali  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.